Bollywood had a release of biopic movie “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”. Director of this movie Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has made a master piece. Viewers will love watching this movie again and it will be remembered for many years. Movie has many moments which touched the hearts of viewers, motivated, inspired to follow the goals and taught many things to the audience (common man). I analyzed the movie from financial planning perspective and explained them in this article. Let’s have a discussion on “5 financial planning lessons from the movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.”
1.Set goals at various stages of life then run (follow) to achieve them.
In the movie, Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar) ran in life at different stages for different purposes and goals. These are highlighted below:
At a young age, Milkha runs in hot sands from school to reach home early
Runs from people who had attacked his family during India-Pakistan partition to survive
Runs from other family kids after beating his brother-in-law
Runs on train after stealing coal
Runs in the Army Cross Country Race to earn a mug full of milk, 2 eggs and gets relief from exercise
Then keeps running to earn India’s Blazer, self-respect, for medals and made India proud by winning races across the world
Similarly, we need to set financial planning goals at various stage (ages) of life, adapt to the situation (cash flows) and follow the plan with dedication to achieve them. These goals could be saving to buy a flat, a four wheeler, investing for children education and marriage expense, saving for second innings of life after retirement, etc.
2.To become a successful person, one needs inspiration, well-wishers, training and guidance.
Biro, Milkha Singh’s first love inspires him to earn self-esteem in life and become a successful person. His sister Isri Kaur was the well-wisher and pillar of strength whenever he got stuck. His two coaches Gurudev Singh and Ranveer Singh trained him to achieve his goals and became a guide to help him overcome weak areas by regular training.
Similarly, you should be surrounded by people you get inspired from, in order to prepare and follow the financial plan. Most people just avoid making financial plan and seek advice on investment / insurance / tax savings from any unknown person. Your family will always be available for help whenever required. Take the guidance of financial planners / advisors to create a comprehensive plan and then follow the steps as discussed in it. You can enroll for training in financial planning to understand or enhance knowledge in personal finance field by reading periodical magazines, articles in newspapers / online, etc.
3.Earn things as per your need and don’t eye other’s belongings with greed
Milkha Singh fell in love with India’s Blazer which belonged to champion runner Sher Singh Rana. He had worn to get the feel of this blazer but was attacked and offended. His coach (Gurudev Singh) slapped him and explained it’s not easy to get things you like. You need to work hard with dedication to earn it.
In life, we shouldn’t eye things of our friends / relatives / peers. Analyze the needs (list of things) you intend to have and ask yourself whether its worth to buy / invest our hard earn money into it. Don’t eye others things and get carried away to have it by greed or show-off. Seek guidance from financial planner / advisor on fulfilling your need.
4.Life is not a bed of roses, there are thorns & stones on our path
Milkha Singh used to run on bare feet in his early days of racing. In one such race, he lost since his leg got injured from a stone. However, he got selected for the main race by superiors due to his efforts and talent.
So, understand life is not a bed of roses; there are thorns and stones on our path. Your investments will face volatility in returns. They can’t give healthy returns year-on-year. You need to adapt to economic conditions and analyse the risks while investing in any asset class. There will be some investment decisions which can go wrong and give losses. So, don’t have an attachment with any particular stock or mutual fund scheme. However, it’s recommended to invest in mutual fund schemes / equities giving consistent returns over the years.
5.Adapt to requirements and make challenges (struggle) your dear friends
Milkha Singh was uncomfortable and struggling to run with shoes. Coach gave him training to run with shoes and an advice “Aaj Jinse Lad Rahe Ho, Kal Wo Acche Dost Honge” (With whom you are struggling today, they will be your good friends tomorrow).
An advice by coach is true for us too. It’s important to get adapted with different asset classes of investment and understand them before investing. For example, assume you struggle to understand investment in equities. So, you have decided to stay away from it and don’t take efforts to understand equity products. But, historically, in long term this asset class has given healthy returns to investors and it becomes a good friend by giving regular dividend income. So, investing in equity is like an art which needs some understanding (analysis) while investing. Your portfolio should be diversified with exposure to different asset classes.
After winning the race in Pakistan, Milkha Singh got the title of ‘The Flying Sikh’ for his outstanding performance in the race. Similarly, you also follow your dreams, set goals, get inspiration from people you are surrounded to prepare financial plan, adapt to different situations while implementing (following) a financial plan, have faith in your financial planner and stay concrete with his recommendations (suggestions). Earn things in life with hard work and dedication. In future, you will see yourself to achieve those financial planning goals efficiently.